Tablet Games 101: We speak with Lightbringers: Saviors of Raia producer Vincent Martel about this hack & slash action game.
For Lightbringers: Saviors of Raia, the good people at Frima Studios naturally looked to such similar games as Diablo. But as producer Vincent Martel points out, they also looked at some classic sci-fi movies and classic architecture for inspiration as well.
TabTimes Games: Let’s start with the basics: What is Lightbringers: Saviours Of Raia and how do you play it?
Vincent Martel: Lightbringers is a cross-platform, drop-in/drop out, real-time hack & slash game with hundreds of enemies on screen. The game can be played in co-op with up to four players on Android and iOS.
Lightbringer is also the Japanese name for the 1994 arcade game Dungeon Magic. I assume this isn’t a new version of that game, right?
No, Saviors of Raia is a completely new game. I actually never played that game.
So what other games do you think it is similar to?
It’s hard not to think about the Diablo series, mainly for its eternal quest for the perfect build. We have a very different approach on how you can build your character, but the quest for finding rare items to complete your set or to simply improve your character is a big part of our game.
The Dynasty Warriors series is also an influence for the overwhelming feeling of having hundreds of enemies around you and crushing dozens of them with each blow. I’d also say Guild Wars for the way you can change your role in a party—warrior, tank…—without having to reroll your character. And King's Road and ChronoBlade as well, for their approach of the hack & slash genre.
Once we had the game design in place, it was important to understand what others were doing well, and not-so-well, because there’s always a lot to learn from that.
As you know, all fantasy stuff is legally required to be influenced by J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. But what other movies, books, comics, TV shows, and games were an influence on the fantasy aspects of Lightbringers?
We put a lot of love into creating our own universe and lore with Lightbringers, so you will not find elves, dwarves, orcs, or Peter Jackson cameos in the game.
The movie Aliens was a reference for the feeling of having many, many enemies lurking in the dark all around you. Things that use glowing veins—such as Tron and the Zone of the Enders anime—have to be acknowledged for our characters’ outfits and how the Nexus Core’s energy pulses through them.
I’d also say StarCraft and the movie The Blob were also good references for our creep mechanic.
What about the non-fantasy influences on the lore, story, etc.?
The detail and style of architect Louis Sullivan, combined with Byzantine architecture, was used to create the look of Lightbringers’ world. It’s also very present and works as a visual signature on the detailing and adornments on the lightbringers themselves.
In the game, you can customize your hero. What are some of the things you can customize and why did you include this option?
We have a very unique way to build and customize our character in Lightbringers. You can, of course, choose if you want to play a male or a female character, and the type of weapon you want to use, but lightbringers are nothing without their Nexus Orbs. These pieces of equipment are empowered by one of the 8 Paragon lights, which are imbued with great power. Depending on the Nexus Orbs equipped, the player will be able to use powerful spells and receive strong buffs. The color of the Nexus Orbs equipped also dictate the color of your armor, spells, attack, etc., depending on where you equipped them.
This system allows a lot of flexibility in the way people can modify their build. They can choose to change from a more DPS style to a more tankish style of gameplay with ease. There are, at the moment, 280 Orbs to find in the game, and we are planning to release more in the future.
As you mentioned, the game has drop-in/drop-out co-op. But does that only work if you’re both playing on the same kind of system?
No, the game is cross-platform and cross-play. You can start a game on your Android Phone and continue later alone, or with others, on your iPad. And the game is exactly the same on both platforms.
Finally, the word “lightbringer” comes up in other fantasy games. For instance, The Lightbringer is a mythical item in the game League of Legends. Is L.O.L. an influence on Lightbringers or is that a laughable assumption?
We’re huge fans of League of Legends here. In fact, some of the concept art for both games was done by Volta. But otherwise, there’s no link between the two.
Lightbringers: Saviors of Raia is launching this Thursday, April 3, on iOS and Android.